With their sophomore album 'Otherness' absolutely blowing us away in 2014, Adam Bainbridge's Kindness project is seen as one of the most diverse and interesting in the current music climate. Forever looking to push his sound into new and unventured territory, the artist has spent the last five years collaborating with a whole host of other acts, most of which have returned the favour by joining them on their their long-awaited third LP 'Something Like A War', a record that drops the adventurous ambition in favour for something more repetitive and safe.
When 'Otherness' dropped, it was a landmark moment for the outfit. Progressive and unique in equal measure, it saw the artist in a whole new light and gave them something solid to work from in the follow up. But it seems that while being so obsessed with boundary-breaking on their return, they didn't quite focus on where the record should go as this return feels more lacklustre than their previous efforts. While the addition of acts like Robyn, Blood Orange and Seinabo Sey make for a delightful break to the formulaic structure, it feels like the same brand has been recycled over and over again throughout this new collection, giving it a more stifled and rigid pace.
While the atmosphere and general tone of this new release remains high and joyous, 'Something Like A War' never feels like the broad and explorative album we were all hoping for. Bainbridge has found himself a bold and soulful niche for this full-length, and simply pursues that throughout. It certainly feels like he has a focus in mind, but without much breakaway, it begins to feel stale sooner than we'd hoped.